Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means soon you’ll be stuffing your face with, well, stuffing and other gravy-smothered goodies.
But just because it’s the holidays, that doesn’t mean your health and fitness should fall by the wayside.
Our Thanksgiving Day squat challenge is easy to do first thing when you get up in the morning before heading off to visit your relatives — perfect for preventing some of that post-holiday guilty.
Start with 25 slow and steady bodyweight squats. Use these squat form cues while performing squats in this workout.
Barbell Back Squats
Aim to complete three sets of 12 repetitions.
This exercise is perfect to start with while you are fresh because it allows you to add weight onto the workout move in order to put more resistance on the muscles.
- Approach the barbell and let it sit on your upper back.
- Line your hands up in a wide grip on the bar. Make sure that they are an equal distance apart so that you can maintain proper balance throughout the exercise.
- Follow the exact same movement pattern with cues as mentioned above.
- Hold the barbell down onto your upper back to ensure that it isn’t tilting to one side or the other throughout the exercise.
- You should feel fatigue set in by squat number 12.
- If you feel that you could keep going, then it’s time to go up in weight!
Complete three rounds of 25 squat jumps.
This dynamic movement recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers for more explosive power. In addition, it gets your heart rate up and provides a burst of cardio to kick the workout up a notch. The same movement cues apply, but this time, you will pop back up into a jump after you sit back into your squat. You can use your arms to help you build momentum to explode up with your leg and butt muscles. Take a breather before heading onto the next squat move.
Barbell Front Squats
Complete three sets of 12 repetitions.
The front squat changes the load placement of the weight to the front of your body as opposed to the back, so it works predominantly the quads and upper back as opposed to more of the lower back and butt in the back squat movement.
- Walk up to the barbell and rest it on your shoulders with your arms crossed and hands on the bar.
- From there, you’ll sit back into the squat movement as usual, but you have to be more cognizant about keeping the bar balanced and maintaining proper back alignment as the weight shift to the front of the body isn’t as stable of a position.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Complete three sets of 15 repetitions on each leg.
Split squats isolate one leg at a time, so you’ll be able to really burn out one side of your lower body at a time by focusing your efforts.
- Put your right leg on an elevated surface behind you and your left leg out in front in a 90-degree bend.
- Lower your left leg down into a lunge movement, but don’t let your knee touch the ground.
- Come back up from the lunge position by utilizing your right side butt muscle power.
- Remember to keep your shoulders back and down and maintain upright posture throughout the movement.
- You can hold onto dumbbells or kettlebells at either side throughout the split squats to increase the resistance.
Wall Sit Squats
Complete three rounds of one-minute wall sits.
This isometric movement focuses in on maintaining a stable position by utilizing all of your lower body muscles. Sit against a wall so that your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this squat position for the allotted amount of time to really burn out the lower body.
Bodyweight Squat with Leg Lift
Complete three sets of 12 repetitions.
Finish off the workout with a bang by sitting back into a regular squat and then as you come up, lifting the left leg to the side to tone up the butt. Lower it back down to complete another squat and then lift the right leg up. This counts for one repetition.
If you don’t have time to complete the full workout, feel free to play around with the amount of sets and repetitions to fit your holiday exercise needs. Good luck completing your Turkey Day squat challenge and enjoy the festivities of the day!